Monday, February 26, 2007







I've been looking for something small enough to be hidden in an unobvious place that could be used in instances where I might be relieved of my knife (which are the situations where you would probably need it the most). On my most recent trip to the knife shop I saw the Spyderco ladybug which weighs only .5 ounces. Now, I'm the first to admit to being a total knife snob, and that's kept me from brands like Spyderco (spit) and CRKT, but I picked up a few CRKTs a bit ago and are confident in their limited use but still wouldn't use one for my EDC. This is my first Spyderco, and the only reason I bought it is because of it's esoteric task.

It didn't have a clip, so I had to find a something to add one... What better place to start fabricating a clip than with a clip?

Pick up a pilot pen of the model pictured above, and remove the clip by applying upward pressure on the clip from the bottom. There is a low profile cap that fits on top of the cap and holds the clip in place with pressure. Once the clip is removed, you'll find it is a "J" shaped and has a slightly serrated end. Remove the bend from the bottom of the "J" so it's now "L" shaped. Take the serrated end and put it into the lanyard hole on the knife with a hammer. It'll go in for the entire serrated section, and will stop at the edge where it gets wider, give it a few wacks to set that edge into the grip, but don't let it stick out the other end of the grip. I haven't tried it out for an extended period of time, but a drop of epoxy in the lanyard hole would make the clip solid.

I'm carrying mine at the 6 o'clock position on my waist, though it could just as easily be clipped onto a sock or inside the short sleeve on a shirt.

Ideally, you should bend the clip to copy this clip design.


blogagog said...

All criminals take note: When robbing Existingthing, check the 6 o'clock position on his waist.


Anonymous said...

Now, I'm the first to admit to being a total knife snob, and that's kept me from brands like Spyderco (spit)

Whoa there, tiger. Is there a hidden story behind this bias?

Now, as a knife snob myself, I've found a couple of surprising things. One, as flimsy as the Native and Endura look, I haven't been able to destroy one yet. They're good for situations with a high probability of losing your knife. One the other hand, find me any ONE Columbia River that will rival the quality and craftsmanship of my original Chinook, Starmate, Military, Kiwi or the Manix I EDC. CRKT doesn't manufacture anything that high quality, but Spyderco does.

Now, I love my Emersons and Benchmades and Al Mars and others, and the Strider I have on backorder will be awesome, but Spyderco makes a damn good product. I own one CRKT and I would happily trade it for just about anything worth over $5.

Besides, the good ones are made in Golden, Colorado, USA, Earth. Not Taiwan or China.

Fletch said...

Actually, my distaste to Spydercos mostly stems from my FIRST real knife which was a used Spyderco my Dad picked up from one of the boxes and boxes of discarded knives at govt building entrances. (actually, now that I think of it, I don't remember actually seeing the word "Spyderco" on the blade, might have been a knock off) I dropped it once, and noted a hairline crack on the grip, but didn't think much of it. Later, when cutting (appropriately) with it one day, I applied some downward force on the handle, and it shattered.

That experience aside, I don't like Spyderco. I don't like their design, I don't like how cheap they feel, I don't like how they are popular "disposable" knives, I don't like their grips, I don't like their lock, I don't like their thick-and-chunky sarrations... I just don't like them.

On your recommendation, Josh, I guess I should really pick one up so the healing can begin; but don't expect to see me running to the knife shop... Well, you might see be running there, but it won't be for a Spyderco...

"I own one CRKT and I would happily trade it for just about anything worth over $5."

Hmmm... that wouldn't happen to be the infamous "toad sticker" that some inebriated fellow happened to leave in your garage just prior to beating feet would it??? :)
What model is it? I've got $5 in my pocket...

Anonymous said...

It probably was a knock off, Meyerco or something similar.

And please don't think my advocacy comes from personal ownership. I worked at a SD knife shop for a couple years. After seeing how many various brands had to be returned to their manufacturers for warranty replacement/repair and how smooth that process was, I know the good manufacturers. I never upsold people to make my numbers, I just gave advice as well as I could. I sold more Spyderco's to bosun's and Marines than anything else, and nary a complaint (except from the people who think a pocket knife replace a pry bar and screwdriver in a handy folding package!).

I'll tell you what: go get yourself a Spyderco Native, the one with the FRN handle and S30V blade steel, in either serrated or non serrated versions. I have three of them, and in my opinion, they are the best "cheap" knife one can buy.

You go get yourself one of those, and I will give you the CRKT (M16 but I don't remember if it is the tanto or spear point) to compare it against on the stipulation that: you find a variety of materials to cut up, take pictures, and make a write up on your blog, grading their performances and naming a winner as objectively as possible.

And yup, that is where I got it. ;) But I nursed it back to health from the rust and removed the LAWKS.

Fletch said...

Is there ANYONE who likes the LAWKS??? I think not...

I accept your challenge! Though I want a fair fight, so I must know whether or not the CRKT is tanto or sarrated. Straight blades are usually terrible at slicing. Tantos are really more for penetration. I wouldn't want to compare a lesser blade to a higher class of blade shape or style.

Also, wonder about one knife facing off against another when one was owned by Drinky McBringsaknifetoagunfight...

What categories should we base the challenge on? Edge retention, construction, consistency, different cuts (thick material, light material, precision, cordage, straps, etc.) I insist "mistreatment" be one of them. I make it a point not to mistreat my blades, so I might need some ideas :)

PS: I feel compelled to note that the first time I laid hands on a Spyderco since becoming a knife snob, I opened it (a cricket if it matters) and said "Damn, that's smooth!" Wasn't expecting it at all...

Anonymous said...

The Spydercos are usually so small that they always strike me as essentially expensive jewelry, nice to look at but not really serious knives.

I have a CRKT folder and it's fine. It wasn't expensive and lacks the requisite mall ninja endorsements, but it's functional and sturdy.

Actually, the knife I carry most frequently these days is a single blade, $9 folder from Home Depot. A little clunky and probably made in China, but perfect for most situations (including self-defense if necessary) and easily replaced.

Anonymous said...

The gauntlet was thrown down, and ET responded with aplomb. I'll check the exact model/type when I get home tonight.

I can assure you that, before it was consigned to the knife drawer (the contents of which are top secret) I cleaned it up well. I put a good edge on it as my first order of business, removed the LAWKS, cleaned up the blade and mechanism, and then let it languish in obscurity. I have no qualms about giving it to a friend or family member who may need to bet their life on their blade, except that I don't like it very much.

I'd probably test it's edge cutting ability with things like paper, cardboard, plastic zipties, string, tape, etc. Ultimately, for an edge retention test, resharpen them and cut 1" sections of 3/8" sisal rope until it won't cut anymore, noting where they start to slip and finally stop cutting. Make a note about which is easier to get back to hair-poppin' sharp.

For abuse, I'd recommend seeing which locking mechanism works best when silica sand is poured into them. Maybe clamp the blades in a vice, edge down, and drop various heavy items on the spine/back of the handles to see if you can get the locks to fail. Storing them for a couple days in a jar with a little salt water might be enlightening, but I guarantee the Spyderco wins that test hands down.

Construction and materials are subjective, as is lock preference. Don't pull any punches, if you can. As a note, after working with them and owning them, I can open and close Spyderco's lock back knives with one hand as fast or faster than I can a lot of liner locks/frame locks.

I'll have to let my friend Haji know about this. He's a knife guy of the first order, so maybe he's got some ideas, too.

pn nj - They may have the itty bitty market sewn up, with Crickets and Kiwis and Ladybugs and Jesters, but easily 75% of their product line is over the size of the Delica. Just cause it's shiny doesn't mean it's jewelery.

Fletch said...

"except that I don't like it very much"
Perhaps we've hit the crux of the issue; preference.

I did a little bit of research on the native, and it's apparently quite a knife. I wouldn't want to pit a Ford Taurus against a BMW, so we might rethink this challenge to use a more comparable blade. Not that I'm getting cold feet-- I just don't want the outcome to be predictable. Where's the fun in that? (though I still don't yet know the model of the CRKT, so it might be fine.) I might toss my 940 in the mix to see how it fairs... :)

Anonymous said...

You can use something like the Delica, or even an Endura. However, their construction almost mirrors that of the Native with a difference only in blade steel, preferring to use VG10 instead of S30V. VG10 still pwns AUS8. I don't think you'll find any Spyderco (except the one designed to be used around water; I forget the name) that uses a similar grade steel as CRKT.

I was just trying to look out for your interests, as well. By suggesting the Native, it means you will be getting their best small, light knife. If you decide you like them, you won't have to go back and "upgrade" while grumbling about "should have gotten this one in the first place - what was I thinking!" ;)

Anonymous said...

OK, I checked. It's an M16-14 tanto with aluminum handles and steel liners. It's also about 40% serrated. I put a new edge on it last night and blew the dust off.

Haji said...

That being the case,those two knives, the Native and the M16-14, are pretty close in price point. That's as good a place to base a comparison as any. You might also note how much more readily a bead blasted AUS 8 blade will rust compared to polished S30V. If you had more time to test, you could also note which one because loose first. CRKT frame screws have a long and distinguished history of loosening up and falling out, so be sure you have a proper sized Torx driver available in case that happens. No point in sustaining an injury to do a test.

Tam said...

First, let me get my knife snob creds established: My EDC knives are a "P-stamp" Sebenza in my left-hand pocket and an Emerson Commander in my right. There's a Simonich Bitterroot on my keychain that I bought from Rob at his last Blade Show. I have paid more for a Ken Onion custom than I have for most used cars I've owned. I am a knife snob.


CRKT: I have a Tighe Tac, a KISS, a Rollock, a PECK, a My Tighe, some M16 variant or another, plus a half-dozen more.

Spyderco: I have a Clipit, a Remote Release, a Dodo, a Ladybug, a Delica, a Shabaria, and a Massad Ayoob. That I can think of, at least...

Both these companies make fine knives. Your average CRKT is easily as nice as your average, say, Kershaw. Spydercos are every bit as nice a knife as other mid-price brands like Benchmade or (especially) Cold Steel, their main price-point competition, plus their CEO isn't a pompous jackhole blowhard.

You will not be disappointed with a knife from either manufacturer

Haji said...

"plus their CEO isn't a pompous jackhole blowhard."

I sure am glad the company I work for isn't known the same way that CEO's is. Amongst the aficionados, he's what people think of the company, rather than the product...which isn't what it was. I guess it figures.